ROBIN BRIGHT/TOM DRISCOLL: A DUAL RETROSPECTIVE
January 16–JULY 24, 2016
Curated by Eric Phleger
In an array of eclectic materials and techniques, this dual retrospective presents an exploration through the artistic careers of Robin Bright and Tom Driscoll, two widely acclaimed and collected San Diego artists. Both artists have spent the last five decades creating artwork that can be described as minimal, sculptural, constructionist, and paradoxical.
Bright’s sensitivity to materials in his carefully constructed drawings and sculptural forms of foam, resin, metal, wood, and paint lead to a collection of delicate but structured, almost architectural artifacts. The rigid forms are often enhanced with rich, painterly patinas, evoking an almost natural appearance of decay and deterioration. Although distinctly contemporary, the items become relics, echoing the aged textures of handicrafts long discarded and lost.
Driscoll forms a different type of contradictory aesthetic. While his creations are equally dependent on exacting craftsmanship, they deliberately take on the form of discarded materials, having been carved, casted, and carefully molded based on items such as fuel tanks, anchor chains, underwater listening devices, packing cases, and other remnants of instruments that are often found unwanted in odd corners. Discoveries of such items early in his career during his night-job at a lab of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in Point Loma sparked his interest, and he began considering the technical aspects of how these forms came to be. His sculptures allude to the process of scientific discovery and remind us that detritus and refuse are often worth reevaluation.
These artists bring together a body of work distinctly modern, but touched by time, nostalgia, and curiosity. Playful and idiosyncratic, the juxtaposition of these artists is a visual puzzle.
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